10 Pennsylvania-Based Food Artists to Know

Food is art: We see it every time we order a flaky croissant, with its beautifully laminated, golden layers; when a gorgeously-plated, rainbow-hued salad arrives during the second course at a special dinner; in the sacred geometry of a Neapolitan pizza pulled from the depths of a wood-fired oven.

There are also times when food is literally art. Artists across the world have been inspired by food’s shape, color, texture and symbolism since pretty much the beginning of time (we’re talking cave art). Right here in Pennsylvania, there are a number of artists for whom food is their muse, ranging from cute anthropomorphized pierogi printed to classical-styled oil paintings of wedges of cheese. Here are 10 artists (8, plus a couple) to get acquainted with, and to support next time you’re in need of a gift for a food-loving friend (or for yourself!):

Dan Barrett (Kitchen Sink Print Shop)


Under the name Kitchen Sink Print Shop, Pittsburgh-based artist Dan Barrett designs modernist prints, meant to be downloaded as digital files from his Etsy shop and printed to the customer’s specifications. Some of his designs are abstract, pure shape and color, and some focus on food. There is the simple collection of rustic bread loaves, inspired by his own baking experiments, looking like 1970’s Scandinavian art from your luckiest-ever thrift store trip. A quad of colorful seasonal prints reflects the produce of each time of year, and a handy kitchen conversion print illustrates common cooking measurements, so you’ll never again have to Google how many tablespoons are in a quarter cup (four, by the way).

Maria Tina Beddia


Most recently, the illustrator of the New York Times Best Selling kids’ book, P is for Pterodactyl, Philly artist Maria Beddia makes all kinds of cute art, much of it with a food-related theme. With a playful, cheerful style, her art has a clean but undeniably handmade feel. Beddia teaches hand-lettering at the University of the Arts, and has done various murals, signage and interior design around town. She is also on the cusp of opening a cafe and lunch spot in Collingswood, New Jersey called Maria’s Bread Sandwiches.

Vitaly Borisenko


Vita Borisenko is a painter who moved to Lititz, Pennsylvania from Russia in 2014. After the first part of his career working as a teacher and translator, once he moved to the U.S., he followed his dream of oil painting. He pursued his craft, learning from books, online video tutorials and the mentorship of other artists, refining his classical, realistic style. He practices Daily Painting, which is defined as “painting every day, exclusively from life and in one sitting.” While not exclusively food, his still life subjects are often pieces of produce on kitchen tables. Captured in quiet moments, simple things, like lemons, spring onions, rutabaga and cinnamon rolls, are bestowed with a profound elegance.

Kristin Everham


A resident of Philadelphia, artist Kristin Everham works under the name Henson Handmade, mainly making quirky drawings for prints and greeting cards. While some of her work focuses on animals, or clever cards with punny sayings (“Hairy Christmas” written alongside an image of a long beard festooned with ornaments), our favorites are her Philly Food series prints. These black-and-white images depict some of the most iconic foods in the region: pork roll, cheesesteaks, pretzels, water ice, cannoli and Butterscotch Krimpets.

Mike Geno


There are people who love cheese, and then there are people who are obsessed with cheese. Philly artist Mike Geno falls into the latter group. He’s spent much of his fine art career painting expressive, beautiful images of hunks of cheese, many from local dairies and cheese makers. It’s not just wedges that he chooses for his subjects; raw meat, sushi, donuts, composed chef plates and other edible delights have all been featured. Geno has exhibited his work and has been featured in publications all over the world; prints of some of his paintings are available via his online store.

Hawk Krall


Employing a loose, cartoonish style, Philadelphia artist Hawk Krall celebrates his love of food, especially every-man classics (like hot dogs). His work has been featured in high-profile food publications, like Saveur and Food & Wine, has graced the packages of restaurant menus and artisan food and beverage products, has shown up in murals (like the one in the secret courtyard behind Pizza Brain in Fishtown, and another in commemoration of Troegs Brewing Company‘s 20th anniversary). Find select prints of Krall’s work in his online shop.

Emily McGaughey


We first came across artist Emily McGaughey‘s work while putting together a holiday guide of Pennsylvania-related gifts, and we were instantly smitten with the funny little drawings that she makes, inspired by the iconic foods of PA cities. She also depicts other kinds of foods (all with cute smiling faces), mostly in sticker, pin and magnet form. In her Etsy shop, you can find magnets shaped like sushi, tacos, avocados, pretzels, sets of one-inch pins featuring wine, coffee and junk food “dudes” and prints of Pittsburgh pierogi, fried eggs, vegetables and so much more.

Danielle Quindlen (The Paper Violet Shoppe)


Based in the Philly suburb of Levittown, PA, Danielle Quindlen stocks her Etsy shop, The Paper Violet Shoppe, with greeting cards and prints, many of which feature food images and cheeky puns. A graduate from Temple University’s Tyler School of Art, with a BFA in graphic design, Quindlen combines her typography and design skills with her penchant for charming patterns to come up with her designs. Cocktails, tea, wine and cheese make frequent appearances in her work, though you’ll also find designs featuring crock pots, jars of spices, fruit and more.

Jim Victor & Marie Pelton


Conshohocken, PA-based husband-and-wife artists, Jim Victor and Marie Pelton are perhaps best known for their work creating the annual butter sculpture at the Pennsylvania Farm Show. Always jaw-dropping in scale and skill, the butter sculpture captures the imagination of the thousands of Farm Show visitors, and credit can be given to Victor and Pelton for each of these sculptures since 2008. But butter isn’t their only medium. The couple makes all sorts of other food sculptures, as well, most of them mind-boggling in their size and construction. Clients range from Hershey’s (see the Reese’s man above), to Cabot (a sculpture made of out cheese of the Philadelphia Flyer’s sensational mascot, Gritty) to Subway (a bread and pepperoni likeness of NFL player Ndamukong Suh). Give their Instagram a follow — it’s truly astonishing what these two are able to fabricate with food!

Are there PA-based food artists that we missed? Let us know in the comments or on the PA Eats Facebook page!

  • Feature photo: Mike Geno

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